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I’m fed up. Now, I originally planned to avoid blogs about fed-up-ness, but this is for interesting reasons. Firstly, the first time fed-up-ness. GParted is being stupid. Not only is it taking an age, but its doing steps it doesn’t need to. I thought it picked the shortest way of getting to the new configuration, but obviously not. It is literally taking hours. Partly my stupid fault, partly inevitable hard-drive slowness.

Then theres the long term fed-up-ness. I’m feeling a bit disheartened about my fight for freedom, and have been doing for a bit. It seems so difficult, especially considering all the political fighting within the free software movement. Being back at school today did alleviate my despair – we have debian, yay! (only on a few pcs, and it was a bit broke, but still, a step in the right direction).

However, a couple of comments I had today are now coming back to haunt me. First is the reminder that I’m going to have a lot of ignorant people jeering at me. This was in the form of a “Don’t install Lenox [sic] on it” comment as I helped a teacher with a smart board. I’ve always known I’d have this problem, and I’ll just have to deal with it. That kind of people make fun of me anyway, so I have nothing to refuse in that respect.

Secondly is a brief conversation with one of the more considerate people. As well as the “I love Microsoft” (presumeably just to wind me up), she raised a valid issue – she odes not care about digital freedom so long as she can use msn, the internet and get songs onto her mp3 player.

I need to find a way to make these things matter to people. I know I have said it before (and didn’t follow up, I don’t think) but I’ll write another blog post about that. These issues to affect normal people, its just finding a way to show that. (I guess the mp3 player one is easy – DRM is EVIL)

Finally, I ought to point out, I’ve not got round to doing any of the things in the last blog post, partly because I didn’t feel like it.

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Well, its starting to look like the way that ADFA is officially launched and starts campaigning is going to be radically different to what I though. As I’ve talked about before, I’ve discovered that my school IT guy is a free software fan, and we will have debain gnu/linux dual booting on 5 of the computers in theĀ  sixth form common room, before ADFA even starts up properly!

This is the good part of what I was not expecting, the not so good thing that I overheard is that the school seems to be considering Apple Macs. Now, I don’t know what it is, but I really do not like the thought of this. True, macs run propreitary software by default, but this is no worse than the Windows machines we’ve already got. I just really don’t like the prospect of this happening. On a logical, and less gut-feeling level, if the school is considering Macs, it can swing two ways:

  1. They’re less likely to go for gnu because mac is the was they want to go instead.
    OR
  2. They are more open to technologies other than Windows, so will be slightly more receptive to the idea of gnu/linux

The tricky thing is that the higher school managment does not yet know that dual booting of gnu is going to happen, as, for my IT guy it is only a small scale experiment. Hopefully having a handful of machines in place will help demonstate that greater gnu/linux use is a realistic choice for the school to make.

A final note on the interesting-things-to-do-with-free-software-groups-for-young-people front – I might be helping to set up a group for the North West for free software for teenagers. It was Tim Dobson’s idea, see his mailing list post (I’ve linked to pastebin, because the mailing list archive isn’t updating).

Anyway, like I say, things are interesting, and ADFAs not even properly begun.

Watch this space.

So, I had a very pleasant surpirse recently. I had to speak to my schools IT admin, about some unimportant (in the scope of this blog) issue. I found that he used ubuntu on one of the computers in his office, but more importantly, was on the local Linux and free software mailing lists and, as a result of this mailing list post, has actually read my blog (so hi if you’re reading :D) and has seen the stuff I’ve been putting together on adfa.co.nr

So, I have since e-mailed him, and it turns out some of the things I want to see happening at school (a few demonstartion gnu machines) are already being worked on. He seems quite pleased with what I am trying to do, and seems supportive, which is a great bonus for the group. If he manages to install the machines as planned, ADFA should be able to kick in right after the exams.

Yay!

I’ve not posted for a couple of weeks (the Easter break). I was away on holiday for one week, and the other week has been spend doing homework and decorating, but also working on my new pet project – ADFA.

ADFA, which stands for Audenshaw Digital Freedom Association, is my attempt to start raising awareness of Digital Freedom issues in my local community (mainly my school). These are going to be issues like the problems of DRM, the concept of sofwtare liberty and the idea that copying is not theft.

Over the break, I have built a website listing the different projects that the association would pursue and also, an explanation of our (read my) views on each of the issues. (Although there doesn’t seem as much stuff on their as I’d thought I’d written). Hopefully this will be a useful resource for anyone who I talk to who is interested and also a good way for us to work out what direction we are going in.

I have no idea whether this project is going to suceed or not. Even if it doesn’t I have a nice resource of all my thoughts on the issue. However, I know I already have some supporters, so hopefully well be able to achieve this.

Wish me luck, and tell me what you think of the site and its content.